February is the month of love. This is the season of flowers, chocolates, and romantic dinners. While you are thinking about that perfect gift for your partner this month, consider the gift of health and fitness. Studies show that people working toward improving their health by adopting healthy habits, including exercise, have greater success when their counterparts are pursuing similar interests.
University College London (UCL) Psychologist, Sarah Jackson stated, “Now is the time to make resolutions to quit smoking, begin exercise, or lose weight. And doing it with your partner increases your chances of success.” In a recent study done by UCL of more than 3,000 couples, research indicated both men and women were impacted by their partners’ habits. If you’re wondering what’s in it for you, here are just a few incentives to consider:
Gain more time. Let’s face it, life gets in the way. Most relationships struggle with finding quality time together. Making healthy habits such as exercise or meal prep a requirement in which you both actively participate, gives you more time to be with one another.
Share new experiences. You may be a fitness enthusiast, but your partner may not be (or vice versa). Engaging in activities together allows you to create new memories as you discover new ways to connect. Brisk nature walks, a neighborhood run, or taking part in something neither of you have tried before can rekindle smoldering flames.
Pursue a shared vision. Couples with a common vision sync on multiple levels. Setting goals together automatically creates accountability. The synchronicity established when pursuing shared goals draw you closer to each other.
Improve your sex life. In addition to the many benefits increased exercise brings, elevated stamina is one of them. Increased activity releases endorphins and a side effect to that is increased desire.
So after the flowers and candy, or dinner and a movie, engage in a healthy sweat session. The perks are as sweet and rich as any box of chocolates!
Can you believe it is already December? It’s a great time to reflect on your fitness journey and your progress. If you have been maintaining a fitness journal, I encourage you to flip through some of your earlier entries to remember your physical and emotional challenges. Look at where you are today. Those strides you’ve made are highly commendable!
The season of festive foods is still upon us and that means temptation abounds. Don’t derail all the progress you’ve made for a few days of regrettable indulgence. Unbelievably, you can have a holiday that is healthy and fun, too! Incorporating healthy alternatives can ensure you satisfy your palate while maintaining your fitness gains. Don’t ditch those smaller size jeans for stretchy joggers this holiday; try one of these alternative recipes instead.
Ditch the traditional Eggnog. If you are like most and simply have to have Eggnog this time of year, keep in mind a single glass is roughly 500 calories! Make your own dairy- and alcohol-free eggnog this year! We found a wonderful Honey Almond Eggnog recipe (get it here) that requires 5 minutes of prep time and serves approximately 6-8 people.
Spice up your veggie life. If you are someone who becomes bored quickly with the traditional veggie prep during the holidays, give your veggies a hearty kick of citrus and spice. Cooking Light has a wonderful Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetable recipe you will love!
Exchanging some of your traditional dishes with some of these alternatives can help keep your waistline in check. Ultimately, accountability is what keeps us on track. Pace yourself. Give yourself 10-15 minutes after your first meal to listen to your body. If full, there’s no need for seconds.
During this season of giving, be sure to give yourself one of the greatest gifts of all, health, and fitness.
Unfortunately, most people gain weight during the holidays that tends to become permanent weight. Even worse, year after year these pounds add up! CMF’s The Holidays: Nope I Won’t Gain! removes the guesswork. We teach you educational and practical tips that if followed will prevent you from gaining weight during the holidays!
The Holiday’s: Nope I Won’t Gain! ten page eGuide
10 tips with practical application to navigate the holidays
Navigate the holidays gameplan
Navigate the holidays workout
10 minute coaching call with Candice
10% discount to try other CMF products and services
Overall, how to Unlock Optimal Performance during the holidays!
Tips and workouts to successfully navigate the holidays
Part 1 of our interview last week with Candice McField gave us an inside look into what drives her passion for fitness and helping others through fitness coaching. This week, Candice McField happily answers your fitness and nutrition questions.
We sat down with Candice one week after taking the stage and here are her responses to your inquiries:
What advice would you give people who want to improve their fitness but feel they don’t have the time?
Remember the saying ‘Una mas’. It’s Spanish for “one more. I say it all the time in life and especially when working out. There is power in “one more. Do one more rep, hit the gym one more day, get started one more time, don’t give up one more time, etc. For those that feel they don’t have the time, I would say the first step is to admit they are making an excuse. The truth is we are all busy and do not have time. The difference is we make time for the people we love and the things that are important to us. I would say to that person, give me 10 minutes a day, and let’s grow from there. The cost of ten minutes of working out greatly exceeds the cost of today’s medical bills, health complications, or the devastation your family will feel should something tragic happen to you. Start today, no excuses. Give me 10 minutes and remember, una mas.
How do I train my brain to ignore instant gratification and stay focused on long-term results?
Personally, I have always been highly driven. I won’t lie, it can be quite challenging, even for me, to ignore instant gratification and focus on long-term results. Those who know me well know I love desserts – ice cream, cookies, pies, cakes, you name it! Moreover, I can’t forget about pizza, Mexican food, and adult beverages! I definitely indulge and take part in the “good life, but my overall goal is to eat clean 90% of the time when I’m off-season. I know if I stick with this, I will maintain where I want to be until it is time for me to roll back to in-season mode. Your long-term goals have to outweigh your short-term desires. For instance, I love Mexican food and I love a great margarita. If I am going to have a margarita, then I will order a salad. If I am not going to have a margarita then I’ll order a traditional dish. Lastly, I do not beat myself up if I fall off-the bandwagon. I rarely have a ‘cheat day’ rather it will be a chat meal a few times a week. Remember, una mas. Get on the bandwagon and stay on the bandwagon.
I’m cursed with butt and thighs, what are your secret workout tricks to keep those butt and thighs tight and right?
I am sure some people would kill to be cursed with glutes and thighs! We tend to be the toughest critics of our own bodies and I totally understand the desire to want to keep things right and tight. Many minorities, especially African Americans tend to hold most of their weight in their glutes, hips, and quads. There is not a secret workout trick to combat this. You have to do everything…eat clean, workout consistently, sleep 7-8 hours consistently, etc. Training for my show this year, I incorporated a new exercise to assist with my glute and hip development. Not only do I walk at an incline, I also walk sideways, working the abductor and adductor muscles. It is an incredible way to keep the glutes, hips, and quads right and tight.
What’s the best trick to shred those last 5 pounds? Should I do more sprints or more ab workouts?
It is not a question of more sprints or ab workouts. Simply doing only one of the two options most likely won’t get you to your 5-pound weight loss goal. It’s about eating clean and in this case, 100% of the time, plus increasing your cardio and getting adequate rest. Those last five pounds most likely require you to dial in your nutrition and increase your cardio versus doing more ab workouts.
What’s the best cardio to tone or weight workout routine to tone? Do I do more reps at lighter weight or heavier weights?
There is no one-method-fits-all to tone. It is more about constantly keeping your body guessing and conquering plateaus. It is also about listening and understanding your body to know what exactly is best for you. For example, I know my body can handle carbs better than some others can. I also know that incline work and sprints are great for my body. This doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best way to unlock optimal performance for everyone else. Overtime, you will discover what is best for you. The main idea is to keep the body guessing by diversifying your reps, sets, and amount of weight used.Lastly, I truly think it is important to give your body one day off per week to recover.
How often do you think we should have a cheat meal? Should we have one cheat meal per week or one cheat meal every 2 weeks?
There is no hard, set rule. As always, it’s about understanding your body and knowing what works best for you. Whether you should or should not consume cheat meals depends on what your goals are and how close you are to meeting those goals. For example, an individual may need to achieve 100% accuracy in all areas(e.g., nutrition, strength training, sleep) in order to reach their goal. If that is the case, there can be no cheat meals. The number of cheat meals one can have varies from 0-4 (maybe 5), depending on where they are starting and where they’d like to end in terms of personal fitness goals. What’s more important to note is that we are speaking of cheat meals, not days. Cheat meals must be reasonable. You can’t eat an entire large pizza and call that a cheat meal. A cheat meal would be two slices of pizza.
Do you have questions for Candice? Submit them to, email@example.com.
For many, travel can wreak havoc on fitness consistency. Some have a difficult time due to schedule changes. Others struggle with locating a fitness center if the hotel doesn’t have one. Nearly all travelers have a hard time with proper nutrition, as most options available are not the best.
Whether you are jet setting across the country for a work convention, or backpacking through Europe, there are ways to take your fitness with you – even if there’s no gym around and food selections aren’t that great.
Take your fitness on the road with these helpful tips.
Carry bottled water and a few meals. Hydration is great for many things. It helps the body function properly and curtails hunger. Carry bottled water with you while traveling to avoid purchasing sugary (and calorie-filled) drinks. Avoid processed snacks and unhealthy food choices by packing your own snacks (e.g., protein powder, fresh fruits/veggies, and nuts/seeds).
Get creative with your resistance training. If you suspect your hotel or other lodging will not have a fitness center, get creative in your hotel room. Body weight exercises are great for resistance training. If you want to add a little punch, pack a jump rope or some resistance bands.
Take your fitness outdoors. Fortunately, we live in the age of technology. Download a free app such as Map My Run and plan a walking/running route. If you like to monitor your level of exertion, be sure to pack your heart rate monitor to capture your distance, heart rate, and number of steps! Also, consider exploring your surroundings. Take a walk around the town to get an extra, low-impact cardio session in.
Travel doesn’t have to hinder your progress or cause your fitness endeavors to come to a screeching halt. All you need is a willingness to commit to doing something beneficial for you, even when away for work, or play.